Insignia by S. J. Kincaid


Written by S. J. Kincaid
Part of the Insignia Trilogy Series

13+ readers   All Shortlists and Winners   eBooks   
Download an extract Share this book

Selected by our Editorial Experts

Shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2013 Alex Rider meets Hogwarts in space in this futuristic action adventure debut! In the first book in this fast-paced and futuristic trilogy, S J Kincaid asks significant questions concerning the use of technology, the value of human life and if games really can save the world. 20th Century Fox have pre- emptively bought the film rights for the first book in the series.

'An amazing adventure novel with an ingenious plot, Insignia will plague your thoughts and dreams until you reach the breathtaking conclusion- that is if you don’t devour it all in one sitting!! The author has found the perfect way to capture her readers; you won’t be able to put this book down!!' - Morgan Steigmann


A PIECE OF PASSION FROM HOT KEY PUBLISHER EMILY THOMAS: Just a few pages into INSIGNIA I was gripped. And this coming from a self-confessed technophobe! It’s utterly engaging and for me echoes brilliantly some major influences in children’s fiction today. Tom Raines is the archetypal autonomous and empowered teen hero, such as James in the bestselling CHERUB novels. And with its military academy backdrop INSIGNIA has the warmth and camaraderie of Hogwarts – but better yet, in space! And it’s got riveting action and adventure that would give Stormbreaker a run for its money. Add to that the highly contemporary gaming theme and a sprinkling of romantic frisson, this is a book for both boys and girls who demand a substantial read. I was thinking about Tom and looking forward to his continuing adventures long after I read the last sentence in the first INSIGNIA volume. Needless to say, I am impatiently waiting for volume 2!

Win the Skulduggery Pleasant series, SIGNED by the author!

The 11 instalment in the best-selling Skulduggery Pleasant series, Midnight, is out in hardback on 31 May. To celebrate this we are giving away THREE prizes of all 11 books in the series, SIGNED by the author Derek Landy and delivered in a special Skulduggery Pleasant tote bag!

To have a chance of winning one of these great prizes, click the button below. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once. Draw closes on 28 June 2018. The winners will be notified by 12 July 2018.

Good luck!

Enter prize draw Draw closes: 28/06/2018


Insignia by S. J. Kincaid

Tom Raines is suddenly recruited into the US Army to train as a virtual reality combatant to see if he is good enough to help fight World War Three. Equipped with a new computer chip in his brain, it looks like Tom might actually become somebody. But what happens when you start to question the rules?


In August 2012 Lovereading asked our teen members and browsers whether they would like to review this title ahead of publication. We had lots of requests to do so and a number of lucky readers were selected and were sent a copy. Below you can find out what they thought:

'An amazing adventure novel with an ingenious plot, Insignia will plague your thoughts and dreams until you reach the breathtaking conclusion- that is if you don’t devour it all in one sitting!! The author has found the perfect way to capture her readers; you won’t be able to put this book down!!' - Morgan Steigmann - Click here to read the full review.

'Insignia delves into the darkest depths of imagination, combining an ingenious story with the overwhelming realisation of what our future could hold. This book has a very likeable main character, a well-thought-out twist and a plot that would make The Hunger Games weep with jealousy…' - Katy Panter - Click here to read the full review.

'Combining enchanting characters and an energetic plot which cries out for a sequel, INSIGNIA is a book for anyone and everyone who loves the tale of a deserving hero.' Lauren Geary - Click here to read the full review.

'All in all, Insignia is a well-written book with a twisting and turning plotline that truly should be read. My congratulations to S.J Kincaid!' Eve Taggart - Click here to read the full review.

'On first glance, Insignia didn't look like the sort of book I'd want to buy but do you know what? Insignia is definitely a top ten favourite. I was shocked that I liked it so much and I'm glad I was chosen to review it because if hadn’t I would never have been able to experience its awesomeness!' Hazal Kirci - Click here to read the full review.

'INSIGNIA is a powerful book that delves into a new world, giving readers an insight to the power of computers and how manipulative a mind control programme could be.' Eloise Greenberry - Click here to read the full review.

'I am really happy I got to review this. Insignia is fascinating, the world building is excellent. Cramming in an entire history without boring the reader is really hard to do and S.J. Kincaid not only succeeded but actually made it interesting...Insignia isn’t just a good but a great book.' Luna's Little Library - Click here to read the full review.


Insignia is Harry Potter for gamers, with a six-pack of 'Top Gun' thrown in for good measure, and reading it was like playing an incredibly addictive video game – once I started I just couldn’t put it down…’ - Bookzone4Boys

Insignia grabbed hold from page one and didn't let go till the end. It's warfare on a whole new playing field where you need your wits and skills to stay in the game.’ - Much Loved Books

'INSIGNIA expertly combines humour with a disarming and highly realistic view of the future. The characters are real, funny, and memorable. You won't be able to put it down' - Veronica Roth, New York Times bestselling author of the DIVERGENT series

'INSIGNIA completely took my breath away! Guys and girls, geeks and technophobes - everyone is going to love this of my favourite books of the year!' - Jo Stapley,

'It's as if it should come with a message - this book will self-destruct after the very last sentence' - Casey,

About the Author

S. J. Kincaid

S. J. Kincaid is a fully trained nurse who wrote six books before Insignia was picked up to be published. She originally wanted to be an astronaut, but decided to become a full-time writer after spending a year studying in Edinburgh and living next to a haunted graveyard. Her favourite place to write is her apartment, and she has reverted back to being a lover of print books after a brief flirtation with (and expensive destruction of) an e-reader. S. J. Kincaid lives in Schaumburg, Illinois, USA.

More books by this author

Loading similar books...

Other Formats

Book Info


464 pages
Interest Age: From 16 to 19 years


S. J. Kincaid
More books by S. J. Kincaid

Author's Website


Hot Key Books

Publication date

2nd August 2012




Publisher Profile

Hot Key Books is an imprint of Hot Key

logo Hot Key Books, a division of Bonnier Publishing, publish stand out, quality fiction, for 9 – 19 year olds, print and digital that people like to talk about. If you are looking for something a little bit different from your books, something a little bit special then Hot Key Books may well have just what you want.

Publisher's Website

Publisher's Blog

It is THE website to use for narrowing down your search for any book. Definitely knocks the socks off any other book review website.

Nickey and Tomasz Hawryszczuk

We love Lovereading4kids because they put books in front of us we wouldn’t otherwise have read. They make us more adventurous readers!

Emily Jacques

It is fantastic, you get to read lots of books and you always find something new and amazing in them.

Erica Motoc, age 7

Love “Lovereading4kids” as my son gets to hear about & read new books before his mates which keeps him interested in reading=a very happy Mum

Liz Evans

You give me age appropriate ideas of books I can read and buy for the children and find out what other children their age think of them too.

Katie Lonsdale

I love ‘LoveReading 4 kids’ because they let you read and learn things you’d never dreamed of learning before.

Emily Horncastle – age 11

It’s really exciting to read and review new books, thrilling to see my reviews online and I love finding the final published copies on sale.

Sam Harper – age 10

I think Lovereading4kids is an amazing company because of the friendly staff and the fabulous chance to read great books before publication.

Adam Graham

Lovereading 4 schools